Belfast International Airport has welcomed the announcement by easyJet of a major expansion on all its Belfast – London routes and said that it could lead to over 100 new aviation-related jobs in Northern Ireland.
The airline’s winter schedule sees it increasing the number of seats for sale on London Gatwick, London Luton and London Stansted by more than 125,000, bringing the total number of seats to over 500,000 up to the end of February, 2016. In addition, easyJet will add seat capacity to Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, bringing the total to 160,000 seats.
Graham Keddie, Managing Director, Belfast International Airport, said: “This is a development of enormous importance as easyJet is Northern Ireland’s main airline and this news will see it reinforce its presence in the market.
“We are delighted at this news, which will see impressive levels of growth on all three London services. The airline offers a superb, price-sensitive product and its approach is clearly making significant in-roads on the competition. easyJet has achieved an historic milestone on its London services, and other domestic routes are also benefiting.
“Increasing the number of seats by close to a third will mean significant increases in airport activity. We are well equipped to handle such a tremendous increase, which will bring benefits not only to South Antrim but Northern Ireland generally.
“This level of passenger traffic will generate real jobs in a sector that offers so much to the regional economy. In this instance alone, we will see upwards of 100 jobs created at the airport and in the supply chain.
“These jobs won’t cost the taxpayer a penny. They will generate up to £2,500,000 in wages and salaries and that will be a welcome boost for retailers. easyJet is to be congratulated on this investment, which will offer passengers even more choice and competitive fares.
“This is a good day for the airport, but an even better one for the Northern Ireland economy.”